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Name: Walter Kim
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Question:
I am part of a science group participating in a contest. We are interested in the properties of spider silk and its superior strength to a comparable length of steel. Any information you have regarding this subject would be welcome. Other questions I have include: how is the silk created? How can it be reproduced? Is there any history on this subject? Are there any books on this? I would appreciate a reply as soon as possible.
Thank you for your time.



Replies:
I wish I could give you a better reference than this one that just happens to be in my home library: "Spiders and Their Kin" by Levi, Levi, and Zim, one of the "golden guides" to science and nature meant primarily for kids. From page 13: "Chemically silk is a fibrous protein (fibrin), insoluble in water. It comes from spigots of the spinnerets in liquid form and hardens immediately, polymerizing as it is pulled out. Silk may stretch as much as one-fourth its length before breaking, and the silk of _Nephila_ is the strongest natural fiber known."

Jade Hawk



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